Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums

Keeping your above-ground pool clear, clean, and rid of any debris is essential for casual use and enjoyment as well as hosting pool parties. Sand, leaves, or algae can deter guests from using the pool, so it’s best to use a pool vacuum.

There are many above-ground pool vacuums available, so we’ve created a list of the best ten in order to help you find the right vacuum for your pool. From budget conscious to robotic, to special sand-removing models and more, we’ve compiled a list of them all.

Types of Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners

While searching for the perfect above-ground pool vacuum cleaner, you will run into many different types. Below, we’ll go over the main differences, pros, and cons of each type.


Vacuums that run on rechargeable batteries are typically more portable than other models because there are no cords or wires to get tangled while using them.


Portability and ease of use

Flexible price ranges



The average battery life is typically 30-60 minutes and sometimes doesn’t last long enough to vacuum the whole pool, with charging times often taking a few hours.


Vacuums that are robotic clean the above-ground pool for you and only takes a few hours. You can start the vacuum and when you return the water is clear and the pool is ready to be used.


Variety of options available

Robotic vacuums save the user time because they can do other tasks while the vacuum cleans.

They are compact and typically don’t require a pump or filter.


Higher price

Not ideal for pools that are an odd or unique shape

Occasionally misses spots


These vacuums function by attaching to the side of the filter pump and emptying any dirt or debris collected into the filter. They are not ideal because of the way they move in seemingly random patterns on the bottom of the pool but are the most frugal option.


Great for smaller sized pools

Wide range of prices

No work required by the user


Movements of the vacuum are at random so spots may be missed

Potential damage or wear-and-tear to the pool filter


Pressure-side vacuums work by using pressure from the pool’s intake. It sucks in water and moves around the pool, sucking up dirt and debris and depositing it into the filtration system which can be removed from the filter basket.


Works well with large pools because they have accurate coverage

Easily sucks up large pieces of debris

To clean the bottom and sides of the pool, there are many options


A booster pump is required and is sold separately which can increase overall cost

Not the best option for picking up smaller debris pieces

Not budget friendly

How to Choose the Best Above-Ground Pool Vacuums

Prior to selecting a vacuum, there are important details for the buyer to consider. Every pool is unique, so the best choice for every pool owner will be different. Here are the most important aspects to think about before buying a pool vacuum


Of the main types (battery-powered, robotic, suction-side, and pressure side), it is important to consider the pros and cons such as price, accuracy, and efficiency.

Type of Dirt

It is important to consider what type of debris the vacuum is best at collecting. Think about which type of dirt is most often in your pool and choose a vacuum that can handle that type of debris.


For handheld or manual vacuums, it is important to consider the weight of the machine because you will be the one holding it as it cleans the pool. Even for robotic options, you will need to carry them in and out of the pool, so it is important that the user is able to lift it.


While all of these options function in above-ground pools, it is important to find out if the vacuum works in any other areas such as ponds or fountains that you may have an interest in cleaning.

Also, consider the material and the depth that they function best: fiberglass or vinyl and shallow or deep.


Due to the steep price that can often come with above-ground pool vacuums, it is essential to always check the warranty policy to ensure coverage in case something happens to your vacuum.


Above-ground pool vacuums come in a range of prices, from budget conscious to more expensive, so it is important to choose and stick to a specific budget. Regardless of what you choose, there will be a vacuum that performs well within your price range.

How Often Do I Need to Vacuum My Pool?

Ideally, pools should be vacuumed about once a week or whenever there is a significant amount of debris in them.

The Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum of 2021

After hours spent researching customer reviews, advice from experts, and product descriptions, we’ve created a list of the top ten above-ground pool vacuums. We’re confident that you will find the perfect vacuum by reading the following list:

1. Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Cleaning the dirt and debris from a pool adds yet another chore to many people’s long lists of existing to-dos. By selecting a robotic vacuum for your pool, it gives the user one less thing to think about because all they need to do is turn it on, place it inside the pool, and clean the machine once in a while.

If you find yourself looking for a robot vacuum, the Dolphin E10 is an excellent option.

Why We Love It

Large Filter

The large capacity of the Dolphin E10 filter is ideal because it doesn’t require frequent emptying or cleaning, and when it does need to be emptied, all it takes is the click of a button.

Easy to Remove From the Pool

This model is easy to remove from the pool because when you pull it out, the water drains out. Due to the super fine filter that is available (sold separately), it does not let the debris out.

Quickly Cleans

The Dolphin E10 can clean an average-sized above-ground pool in only one and a half hours, allowing you to get back to using your clean pool as soon as possible.

Keep In Mind

Limited Cycle Time

Although this model can still be used in larger pools, it only has one timer option, one and a half hours, which often is not long enough for some pools. While it is not the end of the world, more options would be ideal.

Tangled Cord

Many customers complained that the cord of the Dolphin E10 often gets tangled because it does not swivel so the vacuum can run over the cord or get wrapped up in the cord.

2. Pool Blaster Max Cordless Cleaner

Sand can be a large concern for people with pools, and because the sand can be so fine a particular type of vacuum that specializes in fine particles can be necessary, such as the Pool Blaster Max.

This model can capture many different types of dirt and debris and has a strong suction that can rid your pool of large items such as acorns, leaves, and twigs as well as smaller particles like sand, dust, and dirt.

Why We Love It

Water Tech P30 Motor

The Water Tech P30 Motor’s suction gives way to quick and efficient cleaning which allows the user to return the pool to use as quickly as possible.

Good for Deep Cleaning

Great for spot-cleaning or deep cleaning, the Pool Blaster Max has a 10.5-inch vacuum head which cleans the entire pool and the nose cone head is perfect for clearing corners and hard to reach places.

One Hour Battery Life

The lithium-ion battery can run for up to an hour and charges in less than four hours.

Keep In Mind

The Bag Needs to be Emptied a Lot

The bag in this vacuum is small, which causes a lot of frustration. Some customers reported needing to empty the bag 5-20 times per cleaning session.

Not Durable

This vacuum will likely need to be replaced every year or two because, while the motor is powerful, it is not durable. Due to the high price of this model, many customers were unsatisfied with this.

3. Pool Blaster Catfish Ultra Cleaner

In order to rid your pool of leaves and other debris littering your pool and ruining your relaxation time, our recommendation is the Pool Blaster Catfish Ultra.

If sand, twigs, leaves, acorns, or dirt are ruining your experience at the pool, this is the ideal vacuum for you.

Why We Love It

Rechargeable Battery

This model is easy to use because it is battery-powered and has no cords getting in the way. More than enough time for most pools, this vacuum runs for 45 minutes at a time.

Versatile Cleaning

Whether you need to deep clean or spot clean with this vacuum, it is easy to clean up any mess with this model’s 10.5-inch vacuum head.

Easy to Empty

No one is keen on dealing with all of the gunk they’ve vacuumed up and the canister in this model has a dual-cam lever connection that allows the user to empty the chamber easily with no mess.

Keep in Mind

Flimsy Handle

The handle of the Pool Blaster Catfish Ultra Cleaner is thin and not very sturdy, which causes it to feel cheap and flimsy and prevents the user from putting a lot of pressure on the machine.

Clogs Easily

The debris canister is rather small so it can clog easily if it sucks up a lot of leaves or bulky debris, often resulting in the need to frequently empty the canister while using the vacuum.

4. Intex 28620EP Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum

The Intex handheld vacuum is a good choice if you’re looking for a rechargeable option, and it’s not very expensive making it ideal for people with a tight budget.

This vacuum works with all PureSpa products as well as pools up to 18 feet in diameter, and the long telescoping pole makes deep cleaning in tight corners very easy.

Why We Love It

Two Brush Heads

This Intex model comes with two different interchangeable brush heads: one for general cleaning and upkeep as well as one for corners, stairs, and hard to reach places.

Safety Protection

This vacuum comes with many different features to prevent breakage. It turns off automatically when not submerged in the pool in order to reserve battery life, and also has a waterproof switch in order to avoid damage to the electrics while underwater.

94-Inch Pole

The telescoping pole makes it easy to adjust the length when needed whether you need a longer pole in order to clean the center of the pole or a shorter pole to reach the sides.

Keep In Mind

Patience Required

This model does not come with the strongest suction, often leading to longer cleaning times. The bag is also rather small and needs to be emptied often, along with long charging time, so the user will need to ensure that they have plenty of time on their hands to use this vacuum.

Not Durable

Some buyers have found that this vacuum stopped working after a few months of use, and while they were satisfied up until its breakage, the durability was disappointing.

5. Aquabot X4 IRobotic Pool Cleaner

With the right pool vacuum, you can rid your pool of pesky algae that deters people from putting your (pricey) aquatic oasis to good use. Our top choice for removing algae from pools is the Aquabot X4 cleaner.

Why We Love It

Scrubs and Cleans

This machine is not just a vacuum. Its durable micro brushes rotate along the surface to scrub your pool and rid it of algae, bacteria, and other debris on the pool floor, along the walls, and on the waterline.

Enhanced Filter System

With two oversized filter baskets holding up to 190 cubic inches of debris and a system that alerts you when the baskets need to be cleaned, you can clean your pool seamlessly without having to worry about frequently emptying the filter baskets.

Anti-Tangle Swivel

The Aquabot X4 has an anti-tangle swivel hose that rotates 360 degrees in order to avoid tangles, a large, time-consuming issues that comes with many other pool vacuums.

Keep In Mind

Sometimes Misses Spots

While this machine is specifically designed to clean hard to reach places such as corners, some customers say that it can miss spots occasionally, especially on slopes or where stairs end.

Stuff Can Get Stuck in the Filters

Every once in a while, the filters will need to be deep cleaned which can be frustrating because customers have reported that they’re often difficult to clean because of debris stuck in them. While a high-pressure hose would work to rectify this issue, this solution is not ideal for people who live in arid, drought-ridden climates or people with no access to this tool.

6. PoolSupplyTown Pool Spa Jet Vacuum Cleaner

Amongst the handled vacuums on this list, this option is very popular with customers due to its ease of use and lack of cords or wires. It also allows the user to be in control, something that isn’t possible with an automatic or robot vacuum.

Why We Love It

Versatile Uses

While this machine works great in above-ground pools, it can also be used in other water features such as spas, ponds, and waterfalls.

Venturi Effect

The venturi effect uses the water pressure from the garden hose to suck up dirt and debris without using electronics. The pool will be rid of all leaves and debris due to this powerful suction mechanism.

Double-Layered Mesh Bag

Almost as important as the vacuum itself, the filter bag is an essential piece, and this one in particular is fantastic. This double-layered mesh bag traps fine debris like sand, pebbles, dirt, and even tiny toys.

Keep In Mind

Telescopic Pole Not Included

We think that a telescopic pole is essential when using a handheld vacuum to clean a pool, but this machine doesn’t come with one and needs to be bought separately which is unfortunate.

Flimsy Handle

The poles and handles that come with the PoolSupplyTown Spa Jet cleaner are rather flimsy and, even if they don’t break (which they may), they prevent the user from applying significant pressure while cleaning.

7. Hydrotools Pool and Spa Venturi Vacuum

This modestly priced venturi vacuum by Hydrotools is best for those not looking to spend a fortune on a robotic or pressure-side vacuum and will still clean a pool very efficiently.

Why We Love It

Cleans Two Pool Types

While this vacuum can certainly be used to clean an above-ground pool, this model is also great for cleaning dirty kiddie pools that get left out for days at a time.

Removable Debris Bag

The removable debris bag makes it easy to empty all of the dirt trapped by this vacuum and can be cleaned and aired out prior to replacing it in the vacuum.

No Electronics Required

By attaching to the garden hose and using the venturi effect to create suction, you can easily avoid any cords or wires getting in your way or using any electronics at all, making it safe and budget friendly.

Keep In Mind

Flimsy Construction

Due to its cheaper price, the device is quite flimsy and can look more like a toy than a high-functioning machine, but it still cleans well and lasts a while.

Not for Larger Pools

Due to its small size, this device can take a long time to clean big messes making it not ideal for bigger pools.

8. Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Cleaner

The Zodiac Ranger is a suction side vacuum that cleans above-ground pools up to six feet in depth, even with dished-out bottoms. With only one moving part, it eliminates the typical need for a hammer or flapper noise and comes with a deflector wheel in order to prevent catching on steps, ladders, and corners. The Zodiac Ranger even comes pre-assembled and ready to use when it arrives.

Why We Love It

AG Disc

The AG Disc that comes with this model aids the machine in gliding along the bottom of the pool and also goes up the sides and around steps so the whole pool is clean.

Automatic Regulation of Water Flow

In order to improve performance, the Zodiac Ranger has automatic regulation of water flow through the Flowkeeper Valve and the Insta-Skim Compact flow control valve that work to regulate the intake of water.

Quiet Operation

This machine cleans your pool without the typical noise that comes with a pool vacuum making the experience much less disruptive.

Keep In Mind

Not for Certain Pools

This machine is not recommended by the manufacturer for Intex or soft-sided pools which is important to remember if you have that type of pool.

Stops, Starts

Unfortunately, customers have reported that this machine stops and re-starts often, interrupting the cleaning, but it still performs well when moving.

9. Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

This vacuum is great for Intex pools, especially Intex above-ground pools that have a 1.5-inch hose fitting. Automatically cleaning and vacuuming the entirety of the pool floor, this vacuum comes with a 24-foot-long hose that can be easily attached to inlet connectors. It’s important to ensure that this model is used with a filter pump that has a flow rate of 1,600-3,500 GPH and that it’s not used with in-ground pools.

Why We Love It

Automatic Cleaner

The automatic nature of this cleaner makes it easy to simply turn it on and let the vacuum do all of the work.

Smart Steering

The smart steering feature changes the direction of the vacuum when necessary in order to make sure the whole pool floor is clear and avoid missing spots.


While most automatic vacuums are pricey, this particular model is a more frugal option. It only takes an hour to clean most average-sized Intex pools, so most customers think the price is well worth it.

Keep In Mind

Sand Filter

While the Intex Auto Pool Cleaner comes with a sand filter, the filter can be rather difficult to use because if the correct type of sand is not used, it can infiltrate the motor and destroy the vacuum. The gears aren’t very efficient at keeping sand out, but customers have found that putting Vaseline on the gears can be a great solution.

Blows Debris Around

The machine tends to blow debris around the pool when the debris holder fills up instead of simply minimizing the suction which can be particularly annoying if you leave it running too long and find the pool dirty again.

10. Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Vacuum
Specifically meant for vinyl and fiberglass pools up to five feet in depth, this vacuum is a popular pressure-side vacuum for above ground pools. Easy to install in just minutes, it uses the pressure of clean water to clean the pool and leaves the filter and skimmer to clear out debris.

Why We Love It

Patented Jet Sweep
The unique sweep system works in hard-to-reach places by blowing water against the pool walls to loosen dirt and debris and then sweeping the debris into the filter bag which can then be cleaned out later.

Unique Filter Bag
The filter removes large items like twigs and pebbles before they reach the pump prolonging the life of the filtration system which is an added bonus for this type of vacuum.

Automatic Operation
This model leaves the user with very little work to do because it runs automatically and is easy to install.

Keep In Mind
Tangle Issues
Unfortunately, this vacuum can get tangled when left unattended, but works wonderfully when it remains untangled.

Random Movements
Some have reported random movements by the vacuum as well as simply spinning in circles or moving in reverse, although this occurrence is likely rare.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.